Spelt Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (Pâte sucrée)

Gavin WrenBaking, Basic Ingredients, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Today's recipe is spelt sweet shortcrust pastry, otherwise known as pâte sucrée, a staple ingredient for your culinary knowledge banks, a sweet base which can turn it's hand to many creations in the kitchen.
Today's recipe is spelt sweet shortcrust pastry, otherwise known as pâte sucrée, a staple ingredient for your culinary knowledge banks, a sweet base which can turn it's hand to many creations in the kitchen. Both sweet shortcrust pastry and it's savoury sister are the foundations of some of the loveliest sweet and savoury baked creations. Just consider where we'd be without tarts, pies and quiches? Anarchy, that's where.

The pastry in this recipe makes a stunningly tender, soft and sweet crust. It's delicate when cooked, with a beautiful buttery warmth which crumbles into submission when eaten.

I'm keeping the words in this post short because the recipe below is LOADED with pictures to help you find your way through this simple yet essential recipe. If you've found this page, you're probably here for one thing - amazing pastry! Enjoy!...come and read more...

Spelt Choux Paste (Pâte à Choux)

Gavin WrenBaking, Basic Ingredients, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Spelt choux paste (otherwise known as Pâte à Choux) is an amazing pastry which puffs up when cooked, leaving hollow buns or pastries which can be stuffed, filled and topped however you desire! Whether it's eclairs, profiteroles or a croquembouche which you want to bake this weekend, you can extend your patisserie skills with this amazing spelt pastry.
Suddenly, inspiration hit me. I want to make a croquembouche, a spelt croquembouche and it needs to be a massive one made up with loads and loads of little spelt choux (pronounced 'shoe') balls.

Croquembouche is one of the most spectacularly decadent culinary creations in existence. It's a celebratory sweet used in French cuisine at special occasions, comprising choux pastry balls into the hundreds, stuffed with cream then piled high in a cone shape and bound together with large splurges of caramel. It's the kind of recipe that should have The Samaritans' phone number attached, especially if you're making it to a deadline, or for the first time, because I could easily induce some kind of nervous breakdown.

As the saying goes, there's no use trying to run before I can walk. The first step in this adventure is to make, and become comfortable with choux pastry. Also known as...come and read more...

Spelt Tarte Tatin with Caramelised Pears and Cinnamon Labneh

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Crispy, rich, sweet spelt tarte tatin with caramelised pears, vanilla and a sweet cinnamon labneh to top it off. This is a simple dessert which is utterly beautiful and will have your guests in awe at your baking skills. It makes the perfect dessert, afternoon tea or just an indulgent treat to add some sweetness to your life.
This spelt tarte tatin with caramelised pears, vanilla and cinnamon labneh is a pure taste of crispy, layered, puff pastry indulgence. Full of buttery richness and finished with a sweet cinnamon labneh, this is a dessert which I simply can’t get enough of. It’s also simple to make, there’s a tarte tatin in everybody that the Tatin sisters would be proud of, if only you’ll let it out! Lactose Schmactose. I fucked off my lactose intolerance last week with a massive dose of butter, entwined with sugar, flour and the heat of the oven to create this beautiful dessert. Occasionally I can’t handle the burden of my virtuous lifestyle (hah!) and have to stab myself in the foot, or perhaps stomach, and cause some pain with something that will give my digestive system a kicking. Harming myself, regardless of how small the act, is one of the things in life…

Spelt rough puff pastry

Gavin WrenBaking, Basic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Spelt rough puff pastry ready for oven
Can I tell you a bit of a secret? This recipe got me really excited. Yep, a recipe for plain spelt rough puff pastry and I was over-the-moon excited. It’s not even a recipe that you’d eat on it’s own, it’s just a gateway to other kitchen delights, but for some reason, basic ingredients and techniques get me really excited. A bit like the oven dried tomatoes that were the subject of my first published recipe on this site. In that instance I turned a load of regular tomatoes into rich, sweet, nuggets of concentrated flavour by doing something pretty damn simple. And here’s that excitement again, but with baking there is something slightly magical about the metamorphosis that occurs. It seems so transformational, to take a few simple, pale ingredients like flour, water and butter, combine them, add heat, and the end result is a rich, flaky, crispy morsel…